Zimbabwe introduces constitutional amendments bill

[JURIST] Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] introduced Thursday a highly controversial constitutional reform bill [JURIST report] to the Zimbabwean Parliament [official website]. The constitutional amendment bill contains proposed changes to the Zimbabwean Constitution [text] that leaders in the MDC Opposition Party [party website] have criticized as little more than a naked power grab [JURIST report] by Mugabe. The provisions include the reintroduction of the currently defunct Senate, with members being appointed and approved by the office of the president; the creation of a governmental right to restrict the travel ability of Zimbabwean citizens; and the introduction of controversial new land reform provisions, including the barring of judicial access for white farmers who wish to contest the government appropriation of their farms. The MDC lacks sufficient numbers in Zimbabwe's Parliament to prevent the approval of the legislation. MDC members staged a low-key march [Mail & Guardian report] outside the Zimbabwean Parliament Thursday, in violation of Zimbabwean law, protesting the proposed amendments. Zimbabwean security laws prohibit protests of greater than three people addressing political subjects unless prior police approval is obtained. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive]. SABC has local coverage.

 

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